January 29, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 29

Advertisement

January 27, 2023

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

January 26, 2023

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis
Advertisement

ILLINOIS APPELLATE COURT AFFIRMS ANTI-SUIT INJUNCTION

On March 27, 2009, the Appellate Court of Illinois First District, Fifth Division affirmed an Anti-Suit Injunction enjoining an insured from pursuing duplicative lawsuits outside of Cook County, Illinois.  John Crane Inc. v. Allianz Underwriters Insurance Company, et al., 1-08-1845, 1-08-1918 and 1-08-2057 (Consolidated) (Ill. App. Ct. 1st Dist. Mar. 27, 2009).  John Crane Inc. instituted proceedings in the Circuit Court of Cook County in May 2004, seeking declaratory judgment against its primary, excess and umbrella insurers with respect to liabilities it faces in numerous underlying asbestos bodily injury claims.  After four years of litigation and numerous substantive rulings by the trial court, in May 2008, John Crane instituted five actions in foreign courts seeking duplicative declaratory relief as that sought in the Illinois action.

After conducting a hearing on the Insurers’ motion for preliminary injunctive relief, the trial court issued a preliminary injunction enjoining John Crane from pursuing the five foreign actions filed against the Insurers and instituting any further actions outside of the Circuit Court of Cook County.  In issuing the preliminary injunction, the trial court concluded that John Crane’s multiple actions in the foreign jurisdictions were substantially similar to the case pending in Cook County, sought the application of the same insurance issues, involved the same parties and the same policies and subject matter.  The trial court found such conduct harassing and oppressive and enjoined John Crane from pursuing its strategy. 

John Crane took an immediate Appeal and after a full briefing and oral argument, the Appellate Court issued an order affirming the trial court’s decision entering the preliminary injunction against John Crane.  The Appellate Court held that “filing multiple actions in those forums, after four years of litigation of the coverage issues in the instant case, is essentially an attempt to join the defendants in every underlying asbestos claim, and is indeed harassing and oppression.” 

The court further noted that, while the trial court additionally found that the defendants had established the traditional elements for granting a Preliminary Injunction, such an analysis was unnecessary.  The court, citing In Re: Marriage of Geary, 384 Ill.App.3d 979 (2d Dist. 2008), noted that courts which issue anti-suit injunctions enjoin parties from filing or proceeding with actions in other courts where (a) either the parties or legal issues are the same or the issues involved in the later filed action are the type that can and should ordinarily be disposed of in the course of the original action; and (b) there does not appear to be any proper purpose for the maintenance of the later filed action.  Based on these considerations, the Appellate Court concluded that the trial court’s application of law on issuing the preliminary injunction was not an abuse of discretion. 

© 2009 Clark HIll PLC. National Law Review, Volume , Number 254
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

Ben Blume, Clark Hill Law Firm, Insurance Attorney

Benjamin A. Blume is a member in Clark Hill’s Chicago office. He is co-chair in Clark Hill’s new Insurance and Reinsurance Practice Group, which will focus on representing client’s in all aspects of the insurance and reinsurance business, including claims counseling, litigation and arbitration, business transactions and tax matters, regulatory issues and government relations, and formation of captive insurers and risk retention groups. His practice includes the handling of issues involving commercials, primary, umbrella, excess and surplus lines, and reinsurance. Benjamin...

312-985-5937
John D. LaBarbera, Insurance Attorney, Clark Hill Law Firm

John D. LaBarbera is a member in Clark Hill’s Chicago office. He is co-chair in Clark Hill’s new Insurance and Reinsurance Practice Group, which will focus on representing client’s in all aspects of the insurance and reinsurance business, including claims counseling, litigation and arbitration, business transactions and tax matters, regulatory issues and government relations, and formation of captive insurers and risk retention groups. He represents insurers in all aspects of their business, including claims counseling, litigation, and dispute resolution. His practice...

312-985-5936
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement